Amicus Brief: Loper Bright v. Raimondo
A group of New Jersey fishermen, represented by Supreme Court super-lawyer Paul Clement, are challenging a rule that requires the fishermen not only to allow government monitors to ride along on their boats to ensure compliance with fishing regulations, but to pay for the privilege. (If that sounds vaguely familiar, it was an element of the Oscar-winning film “CODA,” about a deaf fishing family in Massachusetts.)
This industry-funding requirement—which is not explicitly authorized by the relevant statute—will have a devastating economic impact on the herring fleet and disproportionately impact small businesses and historic fishing communities. Nevertheless, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the federal district court’s ruling in favor of the government, applying Chevron deference (judicial deference to agency action that is not “arbitrary and capricious”) to what it considered to be statutory ambiguity.
MI has joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute on an amicus brief supporting the fishermen’s petition for Supreme Court review. We argue that, regardless of the Commerce Department’s regulatory authority over fisheries, it can’t impose duties without express congressional authorization.